LONDON - Four-time champion Andy Roddick crashed out of the Wimbledon warm-up event at Queen’s Club on Wednesday as France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin clinched a shock 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory over the seventh seed. Roddick has slipped out of the top 30 in the world rankings after an injury-ravaged campaign, but losing to Roger-Vasselin, ranked 67th, on the grass he regards as his favourite surface is a new low for the American.
After a dispiriting first round exit against Nicolas Mahut at the French Open recently, Roddick had hoped the grass courts would revitalise his season. Instead the former world number one suffered another blow, although he tried to look on the bright side afterwards. “It wasn’t that bad. I had 22 aces. I’ve certainly played a lot worse this year,” Roddick said.
Asked again about his future, Roddick gave a non-committal response here. “I’m not at the point where I’m going to deal in absolutes with my career. I’m not going to sit here and say, I’m going to play three more years,” Roddick said. “I don’t have certainty two, three years down the road. I’m not going to talk about that. Anything is possible. I don’t think I’m going to set the precedent on giving up dates on a day to day basis.”
The American has always thrived on the lush lawns of west London, but his latest visit to Queen’s won’t live long in his memory. After losing the first set, Roddick hit back to get the only break of a hard-fought second set. But the former US Open champion couldn’t convert a match point at 5-4 in the final set and Roger-Vasselin made him pay as he broke for a 6-5 lead before serving out a shock win.
Roddick wasn’t the only seed to fall in the second round as Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun held his nerve to win a tie-break battle with 16th seed Ivo Karlovic. Lu, ranked 57th in the world, came from a set down to defeat Igor Kunitsyn in the first round and he repeated the feat to record a 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (9/7) victory over Croatia’s Karlovic. Although Lu lost the first set, he matched the big-serving Karlovic blow for blow to take the second set on a tie-break.
The final set went to a tie-break as well and it was 28-year-old Lu who took it to clinch a third round meeting with Janko Tipsaveric or Ryan Sweeting. Italy’s Simone Bolelli also claimed an impressive scalp as he defeated French fourth seed Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/2). Sixth seed Marin Cilic wasted little time booking his place in the third round as the Croatian demolished Australia’s Matthew Ebden 6-2, 6-1 in just over an hour.